Whether it’s make-up tutorials, virtual math tutors, or mini documentaries, YouTube is a resource that is used by individuals of all age groups. For the many students looking to study abroad in the near future, many YouTubers do a great job of depicting what living in other countries is like; however, how many of those bloggers are African American? While many people may discourage the thought, African Americans traveling experience in foreign countries is vastly different from those of travelers of Caucasian descent. As an aspiring traveler, I always dreamed of traveling to countries of Eastern Asia; more specifically, South Korea. While this dream is one I promise to fulfill, I can only imagine what the black experience is like in a homogenous country such as, South Korea.
Determined to learn more about living in South Korea, I frantically searched YouTube for vloggers who lived in this country. To my surprise, the first result in my search was a Vlogger named Hurricane Lala. As a black woman, born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Hurricane Lala had been living in South Korea for a long period of time as an English teacher. Throughout her YouTube channel, one can find her discussing her experiences living in South Korea, which ranged from the good of South Korea to the bad of South Korea. Lala even spent a lot of time discussing what dating was like in South Korea, partying in South Korea, and working in South Korea. Her stories, which were typically told in a very comical point of view, were entertaining to watch and kept me interested from start to finish. While some people may not favor her energetic personality, Lala is doing a great job of communicating the black international traveling experience to the world. More women of color should find ways to share their experiences traveling and studying abroad to the community. This would help women decide what country they should visit, or study in. For someone like myself, one’s experience in a country will help me decide the decision I wish to make.
While Hurricane Lala lived in South Korea, her experience can be important for anyone looking to study abroad or live in a homogenous country. Unlike the United States, many countries around the world are considered homogenous. While only experiencing one culture and race all their lives, citizens of homogenous countries have had little to no experience interacting with people who do not look them. Because of this, many colored travelers tend to feel uncomfortable with their experiences in these countries. Not wanting to have a negative experience while visiting a foreign country, I found Hurricane Lala’s videos very informative in regards to life in South Korea for a person of color. I am sure that I want to go to South Korea in the near future, and I am happy to know, to some degree, what life is like there as a woman of color.
As of two months ago, Hurricane Lala moved back to the United States and no longer shares her experiences about South Korea. She continues to document her daily life, and wants to move on from being known as the black girl who lived in South Korea. While I am sad that she no longer lives in South Korea, I appreciate her sharing her experiences in South Korea and understand that she has to make the decisions that are best for her. I will continue to watch her channel because I enjoy listening to her daily activities and finding the best in some of the less pleasing situations.